Online privacy, clean air, affordable housing, whistleblower protection and much more: which other corporate lobby fights are putting EU public interests on the line?
Journalist and Corporate Europe Observatory board member Jakub Patočka comments on the conflicts of interest scandals of the oligarch-turned-Czech Prime Minister – and explains how an injection of democracy is also needed at the EU level.
A deregulatory zeal continues to sweep through the European Commission and member states, now turbo-charged by the ‘innovation principle’ and the new ‘One In, One Out’ mantra.
Authoritarian right wing parties look set to do well at the upcoming European elections. But there is a huge gap between their 'anti-elite' rhetoric and the reality,
European Commission plans to reform the EU Services Directive have quietly collapsed. This is really good news for local democracy in Europe.
China is flexing its soft power in Europe, cultivating networks of think tanks and lobbyists, in particular to promote its flagship programme the 'New Silk Road'. Meanwhile European failures in lobby transparency mean these influencing activities take place far beyond the light of public scrutiny.
In an open letter to European Commissioner Bieńkowska we've expressed the grave concerns of several civil society groups and political parties involved in running major European cities about flaws in the European Commission’s preparation of the Services Notification Procedure Directive, which put local democracy at risk.
New information shows the chilling scope of proposed EU rules on services (the ‘Bolkestein Directive’) that would give the Commission advance veto power over decisions taken by parliaments and city councils on a vast range of services, including everything from childcare, to energy, to water, and even sex work.
New documents increase concerns over the controversial reform to the Services Notification Procedure (“Bolkestein Directive”), which could radically expand EU Commission powers over national and municipal services regulation: 55 files obtained via access to documents requests show the heavy influence of big business lobbies over the proposal.
There can be few more controversial clients for a lobbying consultancy than the regime of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. No surprises, then, that a Brussels-based lobbying firm has been less than forthcoming about its role. Corporate Europe Observatory lifts the lid on the company lobbying on behalf of this repressive regime.
The EU institutions are currently negotiating new single market rules that could have a severe and distinctly negative impact on decision-making in parliaments, regional assemblies and city councils across Europe. Read Corporate Europe Observatory's Questions & Answers on the proposal to give the Commission new powers to annul local decisions.
Progressive municipalist city governments from Barcelona, to Naples, to Grenoble have introduced radical democratic programmes to tranmsform the EU from the bottom up. Despite facing obstacles from neoliberal policies from the EU and member states, these cities are finding ways to bypass many of these hurdles.
The UK government will shortly bring new EU rules on industrial espionage into law. But civil society is concerned that these new rules risk creating a chilling effect on future corporate whistle-blowers and those who report their stories.
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